The larger plot here means I’m on Shanna’s side, of course (Right that wrong! Right that wrong!), and I don’t mind when she deploys a little guilt bomb in panel 5. But I definitely get where Joel’s coming from. He wants to help because he just likes to help people he meets. But you meet a lot of people at cons who are a little off-center, and that was true even before the current age of rampant disinformation. You gotta be careful not to get recruited into anything too crazy, especially when people can tag you in selfies. “With @JoelWatson, who supports our quest to free the millions of people being abducted into tubes and converted into nutrients every day! #StopTheMeal”

And that’s true even for those of us who don’t have a family. The references to Joel’s are significant now and will be more important later.

The last panel is an interesting clash of perspectives. For the purpose of this story, as in the real-life HiJinks Ensue podcast, Joel took on some of the roles and responsibilities of a journalist. But a dyed-in-the-wool journalist would never refer to an interview subject as one of their “fans.” Shanna no doubt has a few opinions about the blurring of lines between journalist and internet microcelebrity and what that means for the field she passionately practices. But that isn’t exactly Joel’s fault either. Sometimes you just have to work with the world you’ve got.